Skin wrapping.

March 21st, 2014

Today was skin wrapping day. Turns out to be a bit of a mission, mainly since the skin wasn’t quite a 100% fit to the tubes. So you’re trying to wrap one things around something else but there is a bit too much material there so things kind of go wrong.

We started by working out how much metal we needed to wrap around the tube then made sure it was trimmed to that. Then we annealed the edge to make it soft. You waft on a layer of acetylene soot then with a hot flame burn it off again. When it burns off the metal is at the right temperature and will be soft again.

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Then we started boofing the edges around the tube. Joss did most of that. It was tricky since the skin would shift and lift in places so it was hard to get it round. And of course as you try to wrap around bends you need to shrink and stretch the metal.

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We used clamps to help hold things down. Note also all the tools in the car. We added about 20 years of patina to it just today but then it’s pretty hard not to bash and scratch things up doing this.

We finally got the edge more or less folded over 90 degrees. Before going further you can still remove the skin from the frame and work on it off the car with a hammer and dolly. I still have more of that to do but I was knackered already. In some places the skin split again so I needed to weld up some of those.

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Where the split goes right to an edge you clamp on an extra piece of aluminium to give something to weld up to. Otherwise you just blow a hole in the edge when you get the flame to that point.

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That’s where I finished up. The edge is over 90 degrees but I need to do more hammer and dolly work to make it nice. Then we can anneal the edges again, put the skin back on the frame then hammer the skin right around under the tubes. Once the top is done we can remove the frame from the chassis, turn it over on the floor (note the blankets and sheets for padding) then fold the bottom edge over.

3 Responses to “Skin wrapping.”

  1. Renaud in Brittany Says:

    Hi Simon,
    Nice job as usual. I did something similar to my Lotus 7 S3. I only used liquid soap instead of acetylene soot. When the soap gets black the lai is anealed.

  2. admin Says:

    Well, it all went a bit wrong actually. The skin shifted when we were wrapping the rear of the cockpit round so it all sat badly. We’ve had to pull it off, re-flatten it all (still doing that) and then we’ll try again. It should have been a simple job but it turned out to be a bit tricky!

  3. Renaud in Brittany Says:

    I meant “the ALI will be annealed”…

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